Therapeutic Riding lessons promote the development of riding skills to the most independent level possible. Through therapeutic riding individuals experience the gentle rhythmic movement of the horse that moves their bodies in a manner similar to the human gait improving balance, flexibility, and muscle strength. Riding promotes reasoning skills and develops increased concentration, patience, and the ability to approach and meet challenges appropriately. The special bond between the rider and horse parallels everyday goals of personal development, self-confidence, and independence.
Therapeutic Riding lessons are provided by PATH certified riding instructors who have earned their certification through training in teaching riding for people with special needs.
Hearts & Hooves provides this service in partnership with Hippos & Fish Pediatric Therapy Services
Hippotherapy is a treatment that uses the multidimensional movement of the horse. The term comes from the Greek word "hippo" which means horse. Specially trained physical, occupational and speech therapists use this medical treatment for clients who have physical dysfunction.
Hippotherapy uses activities on the horse that are meaningful to the client. Treatment takes place in a controlled environment where graded sensory input can elicit appropriate adaptive responses from the client. Specific riding skills are not taught (as in therapeutic riding), but rather a foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing.
Operation Equine is based on the Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) model of therapeutic intervention. EFL is an experiential form of psychotherapy and learning that involves equines. The concept that horses might be helpful or healing to people struggling with mental health issues is based on the idea that horses are
extremely sensitive to changes in the human being. Due to their sensitivity, horses react and respond to people differently based upon the person's emotional state. Operation Equine was developed to grow with each veteran’s needs. Through weekly 50 minute lessons, veterans can achieve their individuals goal as they receive quality instruction, purposeful Therapeutic Recreational Interventions, and the individual attention they have earned.
Group Programming for At-Risk Youth
Project Endeavor is an Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) intervention program. Program content is developed and organized by a credentialed practitioner with the primary intent to facilitate personal growth and development of life skills through interactions with the horse. Project Endeavor is designed to help individuals learn how to positively communicate and address internal struggles through purposeful recreation and educational interaction with horses.
During the course of 1 hour lessons, youth will learn basic horse safety and theory, grooming, equine behavior, about animal-human bonds, and experience challenge scenarios designed to foster personal growth and development, as well as basic riding skills.